Nisemonogatari Finally Begins at Episode 03, Karen Bee Part 3

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.10_[2012.01.22_07.20.23]

[Nisemonogatari 02]

Smut aside, the events in between the in medias res–like device the narrative uses to launch itself serve the following things:

  • Remind us of, or re-present us with the characters of the narrative with some updates.
  • Characterize the relationship between the two leads.

I find it striking how Senjougahara is portrayed with significantly less smut, to negligible levels (especially relative to everyone else). Ever since they got together, the fanservice coming from Senjougahara is circumstantial and verbal. She’s completely stopped being shown naked and such.

Senjougahara: serious business; everyone else: temptations for Araragi.

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.55_[2012.01.22_07.16.21][HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.56_[2012.01.22_07.16.54]

This is all played out during an interrogation scene between Senjougahara and Araragi. I’m no expert in BDSM but I’ve heard/read quite a few times that the locus of power is in the one being punished, especially because the “session” is something the punished asks for, or at the very least tolerates and has the power to terminate.

This is clear when something very important (Araragi’s sister needs him), he breaks free from his shackles using his Vampire powers. Suddenly, it’s Senjougahara who has to assert how she isn’t going to back down from a fight with a Vampire.

I find this all very interesting, because in this harem dynamic – reinforced by the previous episodes and the temptation thingy, re-establishes the locus of power: Araragi IS the main character and he is not quite just your weakling milquetoast generic harem lead – maybe he never was, but clearly not anymore if he ever was.

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.23_[2012.01.22_07.19.21]

Senjougahara is now desired, clearly so, because of her tsundere service. That’s her charm point. And it’s something that doesn’t easily get brushed off as database crap because I do acknowledge the feeling underneath all this verbal calisthenics. She wants to protect him from himself because she loves him… but that thing she’s protecting him from, is precisely why she knows he’s worth it.

I love these guys.

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.15_[2012.01.22_07.17.41]

Oh yeah, as my post title suggests – an antagonist appears: one of the confidence men who Senjougahara dealt with when she failed to get rid of her weight problem prior to meeting Araragi and Oshino. It would seem that this guy would target the haremettes, and eventually endanger Araragi’s sisters. So it begins.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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22 Responses to Nisemonogatari Finally Begins at Episode 03, Karen Bee Part 3

  1. Shinmarizu says:

    Although I do enjoy plot advancement as much as the next guy, I was very happy with (1) Kanbaru’s dialogue with Koyomi, (2) Hitagi’s dialogue with Koyomi, (3) the reversal when he breaks free. It gives the guy some integrity – he knows what’s important to him, and he is capable of protecting that. And Hitagi fell in love with this prince of hers for this exact reason, so she obliges.

    • Yes, these are things that Bakemonogatari did well to establish after 15 episodes. It may be a problem for some that Nisemonogatari took 3 episodes to get to square one, but I don’t mind too much.

  2. Marcomax says:

    The antagonist caught me off guard. I was prepared for more random dialogue scenes and then BOOM, plot in you face.

    I have to say though my favorite harem shows are always grounded by a core relationship, as with Araragi and Senjougahara. Not only that but his interactions with each girl is distinct and personal in their own way. If the story treated each relationship the same, Araragi would come off as a weakling milquetoast generic harem lead from some other show *cough* Infinite Stratos *cough*.(Wow a full year and that show still pisses me off)

    Anyway as a final thought I want anyone reading this to think for a moment:
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-01-19/nisioisin-anime-project-10th-work-to-be-new-story
    There are obviously going to be more NisiOisin X Shaft projects coming and so far they’ve proven to be successful. But what would the monogatari series look like if you put it in the hands of another creative team? Different studios, different directors, different artists. What do you think the final product would look like? My knowledge of anime staff is limited so I’m putting the question out there.

  3. hurin says:

    I loved how there was a stream of water seperating Araragi and Kaiki, that is some very powerfull death imagery.

    • By death imagery you mean it references the River Styx?

      • Stef says:

        Water is a symbol of death after all…

        • tama says:

          Huh? If Water symbols anything it’s life not death.

          • Stef says:

            I’m sorry. You’re right… to a certain extent.
            “However water, as all symbols, can be considered on two rigorously opposed planes, but not irreducible, and this ambivalence is on all levels. Water is source of life and death, creative and destructive. […] Water is regenerative, it operates a renaissance, in the sense where it is both life and death.” (Symbols dictionary)

  4. megaroad1 says:

    I was relieved that after the last episode’s fanservice extravaganza we got back to the first scene and what seems to be the main dramatic focus of the series, namely this Kaiki character and whatever his interaction is with the haremette’s. A deliciously shade character I might add. And I’m intrigued by whatever the deal that Hanekawa and Senhougara appear to have.

    Araragi’s relationship with Senjougahara is as always the most appealing part of the show for me. Both in Bakemonogatari and now in Nise, we come to realize that Senjougahara does not feel as threatened as the viewer would assume by the other girls. She knows Araragi will try to save anyone in need, and actually appreciates Araragi’s knight in charming armour routine. This is made explicit in this episode when he breaks the chains to go and help his sister. Whatever he does with the other girls doesn’t matter because Hitagi is the One. You’re right on with pointing out how since Senjougahara has become Araragi’s girlfriend the visual fanservice coming from her has almost dissappeared. Ms. Araragi doesn’t need hot pants to entice her man.

    I may be crazy, but I do believe that Aragi’s impressive braking maneuver on his bike when chasing after Senjougahara, might have been inspired by Akira. He he.

    • The whole scene with the dead trees and the river coming between them is gorgeous. Yes, Kanbaru’s statements about Hanekawa and Senjougahara are interesting. Those two are the alpha females in the narrative and it’s been very clear that the battle is for Araragi.

      Sure Hitagi is the one, but the wonderful thing here is that Araragi arrived upon this love. Otherwise he would never have gone after her. He is fighting against his type. Jocular is it may be, his true love may be… Hachikuji! LOLOLOLOL

      I won’t stop you from making the Akira reference, hehe.

  5. lvlln says:

    I think of Hitagi more as a yandere than a tsundere especially after her major channelling of Yuno in this episode. Actually, all of the harem members other than Mayoi are yanderes, aren’t they?

    Great episode overall. Koyomi breaking out of the cuffs was awesome, as was Tsubasa taking control of Hitagi. It’ll be fun to see how fans respond once the secrets behind these are revealed.

    • I tried to do my research but failed. Sorry for the delayed response. I don’t get Yandere. They’re liable to destroy their love object as much as they’re likely to make them happy?

      Tsubasa taking control of Hitagi caught me off guard. This is something to look forward to.

      • lvlln says:

        Well, yanderes are crazily possessive in their love, to the point that it can hurt the object of their affection, or those close to them. Like tying them up in order to protect them, that’s a classic yandere move. In Tsubasa’s case, the cat who would kill Koyomi so that she wouldn’t get jealous. In Kanbaru’s case, she was willing to kill Koyomi so that Hitagi would be freed up. Nadeko… We’ll have to wait for that!

  6. I suppose I could have stayed in my heavenly purgatory (don’t think about that) a bit longer, but I definitely have no complaints about this episode. I still got my pervy temptation in Suruga, who is looking impressively hotter this season that last, and I still got my delightful conversations that I seem to most remember this series for.

    I loved how the tone smoothly shifted from the fun the series had been having to ominous tension revolving around the still afflicted Sururga and then that Kaiki guy. It made things very clear. Like seeing a shark in the water, but he swims by because he’s not hungry at the moment. Maybe Araragi didn’t see a threat immediately, maybe it washed over slowly, or maybe he felt the guy would be a threat. But it was all very clear and beautifully done.

  7. Xard says:

    Just great, great episode all around. Liked it easily the best so far, even pacing was good. There seems to be inverse correlation between boner inducingness and quality in Nisemonogatari lololol

    • Yeah, I’m pretty happy about it too. Dunno about the correlations, but sure seems that way!

      • Xard says:

        well, ep 2 was basically oh-damnit-nadeko-stop-making-me-feel-like-dirtiest-man-on-planet-you-superslutty-moeblob and wheee-kanbaru-mind-moving-those-book-piles-a-bit-:D whereas this was rather free of overbearing sexual titillation all in all.

        Another factor that helped making this episode stand out to me was its very natural flow and pacing that didn’t feel awkward to me: first two episodes more often than not suffered from this clumsy stop-start rhytm feel to me and I felt Shinbo’s directing was a bit overchaotic even for *monogatari title. Nothing like that bothered me in ep 3 though.

        Really, nearly all the best parts are connected to Senjougihara in *monogatari titles, it seems. The moment she comes to dominate the screentime (and plot kicks in) the greatness just boosts up 🙂

  8. Pingback: Nisemonogatari 04: Wherein The Things I Will Not Write About Will Tell You About My Worst Nightmare About This Series Coming True | We Remember Love

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